28 April 2015

Happy Book Birthday! DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO

Happy Book Birthday to Sarah Nicolas, whose paranormal YA, DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO releases today! This one sounds like so much fun. I can't wait to read it!! 

Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Read the first chapter and get more info at Entangled Teen's homepage! Follow along with the blog tour for excerpts, reviews, and an awesome giveaway!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Signed Print Copy

About the Author

Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads

03 April 2015

Anniversary Art Challenge: Picture #8, #14 & #15 - The Frog Piper's Tale

To celebrate our anniversary, my amazing artist husband, Phil, decided that he would do a 19-day art challenge, drawing one new picture every day for 19 days. And I thought it sounded like fun, so I jumped right on the band wagon and declared that I would write a silly, one-page story to go with each picture he creates during this challenge. I'm not writing the stories in order, because I got behind. And I wanted to finish by the end of March, but that didn't happen. So I'll just continue to post stories as I can complete them until they're all here. :)

One great thing about falling behind is that I'm not actually tied to just one picture each day. When I started writing the story of Hopper MacNamara, the Frog Piper Phil drew to celebrate International Bagpipe Day (day 8 of the challenge), I realized that I could weave his story together with the Fort Knight he drew for day #14 and the legendary warrior of Irish and Scottish myth, Fionn mac Cumhail (day #15).  I had so much fun mixing these very different characters (and illustration styles) into one story! (Now, I'm looking at the remaining pictures in my queue and trying to dream up ways to mash them together as well.)

The Frog Piper's Tale

Hopper MacNamara stood silently as the last notes from his pipes echoed off the stones. 

The king frowned. He beckoned to his trusted advisors, and conferred with them in a whispered conference. 

Hopper stood in the center of the great ring of stones and tried to resist the urge to fidget. Only the best and bravest pipers would be selected to join the king's elite pipe and drum corps. And there hadn't been a frog in the corps since Hopper's own great, great grandpappy had been asked to leave. 

No one remembered exactly waht had happened, but there were rumors. They said Grandpappy MacNamara lead the army straight into an ambush. They said he was following a great cloud of particularly tasty flies instead of watching for the enemy. They said the king would be insane to allow another frog into the ranks. Even one as talented as Hopper MacNamara.

But Hopper had trained for years, and he knew he was ready. He only needed a chance to prove himself. So when the king shook his head and dismissed the frog piper with a casual wave of his hand, Hopper made up his mind. He would find Fionn mac Cumhail. 

With the help of the legendary warrior, Hopper could restore the MacNamara name, and the reputations of frogs throughout the land, to their former glory.

For days, Hopper traveled over moors and around lochs, trading his songs for shelter each night. Finally, after two weeks, he came to a fortress sitting high atop a hill. But when he approached the castle gates, he was met by a fierce knight, who refused to allow him to pass. 

Drawing his gleaming sword, the knight challenged the frog piper to a duel.

Hopper gulped. 

A peaceful amphibian by nature, he had never dueled against a weapon more deadly than a banjo. But taking a deep breath, he filled his pipes and played the mournful notes of his great, great grandpappy MacNamara's favorite ballad. A tale of love and loss, and the heroic adventures of Fionn MacCumhail. 

The knight lowered his sword and listened in rapt attention to Hopper's song. And when the last notes had faded away, the great knight bowed before the frog piper. 

"Welcome, brave little one," he said, throwing wide the doors to the castle. "All who are friends of Fionn are welcome here. Won't you join us for the Feast of Fables?"

So Hopper followed the knight into a grand hall, where Fionn mac Cumhail himself sat upon a throne glittering with diamonds and rubies. And when the legendary warrior invited Hopper to be his own, personal musician, the frog piper accepted without hesitation.

01 April 2015

Writers for Hope Auction to Benefit RAINN

Today (Wednesday, April 1, 2015), I am once again participating in the Writer's for Hope auction, hosted by Kelly Johnson to benefit RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). 

I'm donating a query plus first chapter (or query plus full picture book manuscript) critique to one lucky winner. And there are lots of other prizes (signed books, critiques and more) for both readers and writers! Go take a look  at the list and consider bidding to help a great cause.

Want to know more? Here are links to the Auction Rules and a Comprehensive List of Auction Items. And you can find the page for my part of the auction here.